Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chowking Restaurant in Landmark Mall Makati Branch

First Food Trip on my Vacation- Chowking Restaurant in Landmark Mall, Makati
It was really delightful to be back in my own country and to share good food with them. We went out for a short grocery in the afternoon and then we waited out for some time to rest as we take our snack at Chowking branch in Landmark Foodcourt.
They were offering promo coupons and we were able to grab two which includes 5 to 6 varieties of menu which is of course discounted. It will be my first time to taste these foods so I was the one who offered a treat.
I selected Wanton Soup while my folks selected Noodles and my youngest brother liked the Youngchow Fried rice. It took only 5 minutes for me to fall in queue to pay for the order and it costs less than P500 pesos which our orders were all inclusive of softdrinks.
Chowking Noodles

Again we waited for my name to be called since that’s the style of Chowking restaurants. It took another 5 minutes for me to get the orders as I exchange the number that was given to me. After six months of vacation, it will be my first time to taste Chowking foods again. Well it wasn’t that good since I will be giving my verdict on each food that we selected. By the way, this is not about tarnishing their reputation. It is about my own opinion about the food that I tasted and I just wanted to share it with my readers. I have nothing against Chowking Company since they are one of the best restaurants in the Philippines with so many branches. I guess every branch of Chowking differs in the way they present their food. On my experience, I’d be giving this branch a rate of 4 out of 10 (10 as the highest).
Wanton Soup as my order
wanton soup

Wanton soup with Siomai and sauce
wanton soup with siomai

Youngchow Fried Rice

Here is my Verdict-
Chowking Noodles- Well it was too oily and it tasted smoky. The chef that prepared this food have forgotten to slow down the flame of the wok and since the oil has been fuming so much, it grabbed its taste with the noodles and it turned out so bad. I have tasted the same noodles before, in another Chowking branch, but it wasn’t the same. The preparation was really different at that time and I just wish that they will improve their style with regards to cooking their noodles. Failing grade if I have to grade it.
Chowking Wanton Soup- The veggie was crispy and green in color which I really commend. The noodles were just fine because it was soft but not mushy. The only thing that I disagree with the soup was the bland taste. I really cannot taste what’s in the soup. It was really bland and one customer ahead of me was complaining since she said it tasted like hot water only. If only I took heed of what she said, I won’t order. But since I wanted to give it a benefit of a doubt, I still ordered the same and I thought the lady was just having a different taste than mine. But she was indeed right, the soup was really disappointing. I am just happy to mix it with chili sauce to give it a taste. Two thumbs down for this one.
Chowking Siomai- Just tasting like another popular Chinese dimsum, I don’t have anything negative about their Siomai. It was just fine and chewy and the sauce was just right.
Again as I have said earlier, I have nothing against Chowking. This was just my own personal opinion about the food I tasted. I will always go back to Chowking to eat but definitely I will try their other branch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spinach with Mince Beef

I have to eat most of the boiled and soup type of veggies for this week because of my annoying allergy. I have cooked Spinach or Palak in India. Although I am sure that most vegetarians would not go for the mince beef here, anyway I can suggest them to try my Palak Paneer Recipe which I also posted on my food blog. Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals. I have to cook it because it has antioxidant that also combats or fights allergens to get it off my system.
I do like Palak and I don’t seem to buy this in my country Philippines which our version of Spinach is Alugbati and they are not the same as what I get here in Mumbai. I wanted to share this recipe to all my friends out there especially to those readers who keep dropping by to read my post. Here’s my recipe for Spinach with Mince Beef.
Palak or Spinach
Onion (medium size)
Garlic cloves (4 pcs.)
Mince beef ¼ only
Soy sauce
Ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
Steaming hot Palak
steaming palak

Preparations / Methods for Cooking Spinach with Mince Beef:
Put the mince beef first with salt and portion of water. Simmer the beef till it gets tender and once the water is done, you can now add oil into it. Make sure that your mince beef was golden brown before you put the garlic and onion. Don’t forget to put salt into your onion so it can be cook fast. After you sauté the garlic and onion together with the mince beef, you can now put your soy sauce into it. Please make sure you don’t use dark soy sauce particularly if you’re from India. Dark soy sauce destroys the color of this dish so make sure you are using a Chinese soy sauce which is just light but tasty.

Stir the Palak or Spinach Well
delicious palak

The next thing that you need to do is to put the Palak or Spinach and stir very well the ingredients so that the flavor of the sautéed beef with garlic and onion will be spread to the Palak or Spinach.
After this you need to put ample amount of water. Simmer for 3-5 minutes only but never cover the pan so that you can still retain the color of your Palak or Spinach. You can now taste your food and if it needs more salt and pepper just add something to it.
Simmering this dish does not mean you’re using a high flame. Keep the flame on a medium heat only and don’t overcook your Spinach or Palak. Veggies are supposed to be eaten fresh and as much as possible crispy so you don’t need to get your Palak or Spinach dark.
Lovely Green Spinach/Palak
green palak

I just like the smell of Palak or Spinach when it is blended with a perfect soy sauce. I do hope you like this simple recipe. Spinach or Palak is not that expensive here. One bunch of it costs about Rs 5.00 rupees and mince beef here is also cheaper. I would like to thank you all for reading my post. I hope that you can also suggest me some recipe if you wanted to share your recipe, I will be happy to post it here on my blog together with your lovely picture.
Spinach with Mince Beef Recipe

Monday, January 17, 2011

Red Carrot Juice

I am suffering skin allergy at the moment when I put a cream on my face and the next day, my face was full of rashes that looks like prickly heat and it was itchy. The skin around my eyes is swelling although I did not suffer from difficulty of breathing but the allergy was really annoying. It will be days to go before I get back to Philippines and here I am with my face full of annoying prickly heat looking bumps although not that red anymore. There was no Celestamine that I can buy here in India so the only antihistamine they can give me was Cetirizine which is a mild antihistamine tablet which seems not working for me so I stopped taking it since yesterday.
Red Orange Carrot on my Carrot Juice Recipe
carrot juice

So far, what I am doing to remove the toxins and allergens out of my system is to take fresh fruits rich in antioxidant and eat vegetables. I have searched ways online on how I can minimize the itchy feeling and swelling thing. So far it is improving daily. I am drinking Pomegranate juice, eating ponkan fruits and even made a red carrot juice which I used a blender and just mixed some pomegranate juice in it.
Carrots contains beta carotene, rich in Vitamins A and C, has potassium, copper, folic acid, magnesium and a lot more. I like the red-orange look of the carrots that we bought in the market which is also fresh. They look longer, slimmer but crispier than orange colored carrots. In India there are lots of these reddish orange looking carrots and they really are so tempting to buy. If you are a vegetarian, you would surely like to buy here since it is just cheap and you will also be healthy.
Here is the sample juice drink that I have concocted. All you need is a good fruit and veggie blender. Just make sure to peel off the skin of the carrots and don’t forget to wash the carrots first with a good veggie wash so that you won’t be eating any pesticide or dust in your carrots. Slice the carrots into small bits and put them in the blender. The next thing is to put some water or if you want a juice, you can try to match it with orange or pomegranate which I used to give complement to the color of the red carrot juice. Mix it well even if you can still chew bits of the carrot it will just be fine. I like the Red Carrot juice that I make. It was simply nourishing and my skin feels the same thing. I woke up this morning so light and my face does not feel that itchy anymore.
I like the Color of my Red Carrot Juice, Very Healthy and good for the skin
red carrot juice

The rashes are still there but not that noticeable and it seems to dry faster since I am also applying some Calamine lotion into it and washing my face with oat meal which I have also learned online while browsing for homemade remedies for allergies. I do hope you enjoy the drink that I have shared for today.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mutton Spring Roll with Fish ball

A weekday dinner at home- Mutton Spring Roll with Fish ball
We don’t have much time to prepare food last Friday so hubby and I bought food outside. We already have rice and just fried homemade fish balls we personally made and Walla! ready for a delicious meal. It was still cold in Mumbai and we had our off-day beer tasting that I personally am not aware of what hubby should buy for a drink. In fact it was our first time to taste London Pilsner premium beer and it was really great.
Chilled London Pilsner Premium Beer

It was cheaper compared to local and branded beers in the market and I was really satisfied with this product. It was not that bitter and does not have a strong beer scent. It was also light because of the 5% alcohol content and was the cheapest among all other Indian branded beers. I don’t know if it was just an introductory price but I have my two thumbs up for this one.
Mutton Spring Roll with Fish Ball

Anyway going back to the food that we ordered out, we just bought it near our place to where they barbecue some kebabs and what we had was mutton spring roll. The meat was tasty and juicy although it was kinda oily. I can say that the spring roll was made up of wheat type of roti or chapatti but just done exactly to wrap the mutton. It was prepared in a very special way that I haven’t seen from other vendors around which they use a curry patta leaves to put the cooked mutton rolls as they give it to their customers. By the way, the food has freebies like onions, mint leaves and some green sauce which is made out of coriander leaves.
Sprig of Fresh Mint leaves with onions, Mutton spring roll and fish ball

The sprig of mint gives a refreshing flavor to the mutton as you chew it. It blends perfectly with the juicy and tasty fish balls that we cook. Not to mention the rice of course, this is already a staple food for most Asian countries.
If you notice our own version of fish ball, it wasn’t white in color. To tell you the truth I experimented on preparing this one but the taste was really delicious and nothing can ever dictate me to have it done in white since it depends on the type of fish you prepare for fish ball and the types of ingredients you add for making it yummy and delicious. I guess this baby would sell a lot if I happen to explore and figure out the right sauce. But at that moment, hubby and I shared the sweet and spicy sauce that we have at home together with the chilly –garlic sauce.
A Very Tasty and Juicy Fish Ball that we made

After saying the grace and thanking God for the blessings He gave us for eating this delicious meal, we took snaps as samples for this blog and I am happy to share it with you guys. I guess I will be missing this Mutton Spring roll again if I go back to my country for a short vacation. Anyway, there is nothing more than to bond with your loved ones. We enjoyed our dinner very well and indeed it was another blessing.


Macaroni Soup w/ Green Peas &Tomato

You want a super easy preparation for a macaroni soup? Well this one fits my purpose since I don’t have any carrot in the fridge and I ran out of milk too and there was nothing else to grab than these remaining ingredients in the fridge. Sadly, I need to wait out for some more days to buy and restock foods. Although this recipe may not be grade A on your list, I would still want to share it since I have fun cooking. Here are the ingredients for making your Macaroni soup with green peas and tomato
Elbow macaroni
Spring onion
Garlic – 4 cloves
Tomato – medium size
Green peas- fresh or in can
Vegetable oil

Preparation / Methods for cooking:

Just heat the pan and put the oil. Saute garlic and onion and put salt into it. Once the onion spring is done, put in the green peas and stir as you pour water. The volume of water depends on the amount of elbow macaroni that you wanted to cook plus the balance of green peas you will put in this dish. As for me, since I will be serving it for two, I have mounted a very small portion of water so that my macaroni and peas would not be overdone.
Once your peas are half cooked, you can now put the elbow macaroni. Simmer for quite some time till you get your macaroni soft and ready but not over cooked. Sprinkle some more salt and pepper according to your taste. Lastly, put the tomatoes in and just turn the flame off. It is better for the tomatoes to be there in your soup fresh and not over cooked and mashed. It looks a lot like carrots when you try to take a snap out of the food you make.
Easy to prepare macaroni Soup with green peas and tomato

The tomato blends well with the macaroni because I put it last. I didn’t want to get the peas hard by putting it first. I also don’t want my tomatoes mashed so I ended placing it last for garnishing only. Anyway, I was already happy with the simple taste and presentation. But if you wanted to experiment more, you can add more veggies into it like cabbage and cheese just in case you don’t have evaporated milk like I used to put in my macaroni.

Macaroni soup which is not Milky but just Murky looking

This time my soup was kinda murky but not milky. You can even put chicken bouillon cubes into it. I just skip on putting it since I do have to take care of my skin allergy at the moment, not because of the food but due to some facial cream I put on my face. Okay, going back to the recipe Macaroni soup with green peas and tomato, you can add fresh peas or the peas that is canned as long as it was not that hard.
I do hope you like this simple recipe. I will keep you posted for some more if I have time and opportunity to create another delicious recipe.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Missing Out the Burger

I know, what you will say was that this food is junk and has no nutritional values. But for once in our life, we have tried to eat and taste burgers. I for one am guilty for that and I can say that burgers will be considered as the easiest food for me to get and eat. Even if I am missing this burger a lot, I just know my limitations of eating junk foods.
I do like McDonalds Big Mac and Quarter Pound Cheese. I have missed eating it like centuries. I can’t buy something like this in Mumbai where most of the community were vegetarians and does not allow eating beef meat in public. That is why McDonalds India is supporting the standards of the country and most of the meals offered where made out of veggies, fish and chicken meat, NO BEEF.
Big Mac Burger in McDonalds Philippines
big mac

You can check the burgers here which are suited for Indian taste. They are spicy and with masala flavors. Most of it was made to the appealing taste of the public. I do like cheese and garden greens such as lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Potatoes here are cheaper so their French fries were cut bigger in sizes compared in other McDonald’s branches in other countries. But the taste is not the same because I still favored French fries being offered in my country Philippines.
I do make homemade burgers but of course I cannot get the perfect burger bun here since I can say that most of it was just easy to crumble and are not that fluffy. The beef meat here in India is tender and whenever I wanted to buy minced beef, they are mostly good. But anyway, what makes McDonald’s burger different from other burgers around in India, well it is the size.
Obviously, Big Mac is really buns after buns and with juicy goodness of beef patties that I cannot resist. I do like the smell of it, the taste of it, the texture of it and I can say that I dream of it. Wow, such a burger buff, but seriously speaking what makes me think of getting back to the taste of it is the juicy yummy patties combined with the freshness of the cucumber, lettuce and onion ring. The sauce adds flavor to it too since ketchup and mustard sauce is great for this type of burger.
The cheese is not just any ordinary cheese that you can just grab and place to it. It’s really American cheddar cheeses which is yellow-orange in color and not that hard which sticks to your teeth. I do like cheese whatever the type will be. But if you are going to watch over your diet, which do you think is the best to pull out of that burger? Hmmmm, I can’t decide since I don’t want to miss a single ingredient included in Big Mac. By the way, I don’t talk about the issues here with regards to how many calories a Big Mac contributes. I am just talking about missing this burger and I don’t intend anyone or force anyone to buy or try burgers if they don’t want too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Red Port Wine

The weather is cold so it is really favorable to drink wine. We only drink occasionally and during this cold weather condition, red wine is really good to give additional heat and it is also good for the heart as long as it is taken in moderation and the alcohol content is not that high.

Red Port wine contains about 95 calories per 2 fluid ounce serving. Some countries do take red wine as part of their meal which is not the same with Asian countries. Port wine is cheaper compared to other types of wine. The taste is not that great if you compare it also with most delightful drinks and cocktails.
What I just commend on red port wine is that it is readily available and it can be produce locally so the prices are really cheap. It comes in plastic and bottle packaging although I would prefer those that are in bottles. What we buy is the ones made in Goa since the place is known as a tourist spot and wines and spirits are locally made perfectly there.
Red Port Wine
port wine2

I am not a fan of Red port wine but I am just thankful to have a stock in this chilling weather condition that my body really wanted extra heat.The port wines that we have at home has 14% and 12% alcohol volume. I only pour half or less than half of the glass wine since I do feel a bit tipsy. I just don’t like the taste of it too which is kinda smoky. I don’t know if it was only the brand or if all port wines taste like smoky. Hubby is the one that buys our drinks so I don’t personally recommend him any of since I am not a drinker. Anyway I am not promoting any brand of drinks on my blog. I just mentioned what red port wine is and the benefit of what we can get if we drink red wine. By the way, if i may compare both the port wines made in Mumbai and Goa, Goans Port Wines are sweeter and taste is better.

port wine1

Monday, January 10, 2011

Childhood Fave: Choco Coins Anyone?

Who wants some Choco Coins? I have missed this sweet treat long time back. I used to remember that only Christmas season do we find to buy such chocolate coins in the market. The packaging differs in color but the one that I am delighted most is the gold coins rather than silver coins. The taste will never be great like the famous chocolate bars. It was just for fun and something to play at.
I used to play these chocolate coins with my neighbor friends. We used to exchange it as we play traders. I also remember how I used to have a pack of gold chocolate coins in our Christmas tree. It feels so great being a kid and this chocolates help me remember the times I have when I was young.
Chocolate Coins for the Kids and Young at heart
chocolate coins2

Christmas season again and I bought this one here in Mumbai. The consistency of the chocolate was kinda hard with lots of emulsified oil in it. But anyway, I was just after the big gold coins where I wanted to include in my decoration.

Gold Chocolate Coins Anyone?
chocolate coins1

The size was a bit bigger than what I used to buy before but it was good since it does not melt easily like the consistency of other chocolate coins. I still have it inside the fridge since one pack has 20 pieces of gold coins which costs around Rs69.00. Not that cheap since it wasn't made in India, but just imported in Thailand. I like the design or how emboss it was when peeled. Got a treasure chest there? this one will fit well.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Vermicelli or Bean Thread Noodles

I really miss eating Pancit or the famous Filipino dish that is often offered in every special occasion. It is made out of Vermicelli or Bean Thread Noodles. Pancit is really delicious and can be offered also as a snack or can be eaten with rice and sprinkled with lemon. I personally like the preparation of this bean thread noodles by my mom. It is composed of a lot of special ingredients.
I can't find anything great or equal to the bean thread which is available in my country. I can find bean thread noodles in India, but the quality and taste can never be the same and equal to what I have back home so I don't buy it. The consistency of the bean thread noodle was too rough and it can never be smooth and shiny like special sotanghon.
Delicious Pancit made of Vermicelli or Bean Thread Noodle

Pancit is a dish in the Philippines which is also favorable for vegetarian people if they don't want to include any meat into it like hotdog or squid balls. You can cook a tasty Pancit by using varieties of veggies such as carrot, cabbage and spring onion. The veggies are considered nutritious but about the bean thread, well it is not much,but at least it is still a healthy meal. There are lots of noodle varieties but the ones used to cook for Pancit dish is made out of bean thread noodle which you can also combine with canton noodles or the egg noodles.
I won't be posting for now how to cook Pancit or its ingredients. Maybe if I have more time, I will post it so for my readers, don't worry, I will share it to you soon.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simply Chicken Curry

I really like to share this recipe I called "Simply Chicken Curry". It is not a typical Indian Chicken Curry which is really spicy and with lots of Indian Spices. I have mixed it with some touch of Filipino style without mocking the true authentic Indian Curry since I myself is now a mixture of both culture, Indian and Filipino.
I made my chicken curry not too spicy and it was just my own way of blending some of what I know in cooking. So without any further due, here is the recipe for Simply Chicken Curry:
Simply Chicken Curry
chicken curry2


1 kilo chicken ( buy a pack which is already sliced and includes the other chicken organs like heart,liver, gizzard)
chicken masala pack
jeera or cummin powder
coriander powder
1 medium sized tomato ( sliced into smallest bits)
fresh coriander leaves (as per your taste)
curry leaves (5-6 leaves, tear it to pieces)
ginger-garlic paste (one teaspoon)
garlic ( 2 cloves)
2 green chili
onion (medium size and chopped into bits)
chinese soy sauce (knorr seasoning soy sauce, i suggest)
turmeric powder (pinch only)
red chili powder(half teaspoon or less)
black pepper powder (half teaspoon)
salt (to taste)
vegetable oil (for saute)
garam masala (half teaspoon)

Methods/ Preparations for Simply Chicken Curry:
Clean your chicken with salt and wash it well so that it won't have any foul smell. Marinate the chicken with soy sauce, black pepper powder, salt, chicken masala powder. Mixed the ingredients and let it soak the chicken for one hour. Remember that the longer you soak the chicken, the better.

Saute the masala:
Put oil into pan, once it is heated up, you can now put the garam masala then followed by your jeera or cummin powder. Once the powder is there, you can now put your slit green chili and curry leaves and garlic. Then next will be your onion and salt and once it is ready, you can now put the turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Check if your onion is done because you will now put your tomatoes in. Once you see the tomatoes are done, you can now sprinkle the coriander powder and chili powder. The last thing you can put is the fresh coriander leaves. Let it cool for some time before you make a paste out of this masala. When I say make a paste, it means you need to place it in a mixer once your done cooking. Set the masala aside.
Simply Chicken Curry ready to serve
chicken curry1

Cooking the Chicken:
Use a bigger pan for cooking the marinated chicken. Just put the marinated chicken and a few teaspoon of water. Let it simmer till the chicken gets out the water and get itself tender. Once you see oil coming oil, stir it so that it won't stick at the bottom of the pan. Once your chicken is brown and kinda crispy but not over cooked, you can now put the masala paste into it and put more water according to your taste. Just check the taste if it still needs salt. Simmer the Simply Chicken Curry for 15 minutes more and see if the meat is tender and ready and garnish it with fresh coriander leaves. Enjoy eating your Simply Chicken Curry with Chapatti or Cooked basmati rice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Orion Pie- Sweets for 2011

Welcome 2011! I never thought that I will be able to post late on this year but at least I tried and here is what I will first post for the year 2011. I have been reviewing some products from the past although when it seems that some sites don't accept my post, I have to admit, I need to post it somewhere where I can still share the information.

In short, this one cookie pie sweet wasn't able to make it but I will not miss the opportunity to share it with you guys. You might get it usual or regular in the market. But I just wanted to tell you about this wonderful product called Orion pie. Here goes my review:
Orion Chocolate Pie
orion pie

Orion Pie is not your typical fruit pie. It is a chocolate coated pie with marshmallow and soft biscuit which is chewy and yummy. I personally like how they come up with this kind of product because it is individually wrap and I can take it along with me when I go to work.
Orion Pie is good for the kids and young at heart because it is sweet and delicious but it has Calcium and Iron content which has no Monosodium glutamate content and no trans-fatty acid. I also like Orion Pie because it has no preservatives used that can harm my tummy. But you just need to check the expiration date written in the box before you purchase it so that what you get is only the best for your family.
Orion Pie is good to combine with any kind of beverage that you and your family like. For me, I like to mix and match it with fruit juice, hot tea or hot coffee. For the kids, they like to pair it with their soda drink, Chocolate and milk drink. It is also good to stock since this product has a shelf life of 12 months. It can be handy any time if you have unexpected guests and you can serve this wonderful snack with them.
One box of Orion Pie contains 6 individually wrap pies and it weights 180g. It costs only Rs60 or equivalent to $1.42 for one box and is readily available in selected groceries and supermarkets in Mumbai. I really do like how mushy the soft biscuit was plus it was coated with chocolate. Who can resist the tempting softness when you chew the marshmallow in between the coated biscuit? This is really one product that I will always buy during my weekly grocery.

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